Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Alina Boltunova L&S Sciences

Developmental Emmetropization in Guinea Pigs

Emmetropization is a normal developmental process in which the eyes growth is regulated to achieve a match between eye length and its refractive power. It results in the reduction of refractive errors present at birth and has been observed in all animal species, including humans, studied thus far. The guinea pig is increasingly used to model myopia (near-sightedness), but there appear to be differences between guinea pig strains in their susceptibility to myopia-inducing stimuli. To understand the origin of these differences, I plan to compare the emmetropization of different strains of guinea pigs by tracking changes in their ocular dimensions and refractive error during the course of their development.

Message To Sponsor

For undergraduates like me, the summer is the perfect time to do research since it can be difficult to fully devote oneself to research during the school year while taking a full load of classes. SURF has given me the unique opportunity to work in a lab full-time, pursue my interest in myopia research, and strengthen my laboratory skills. I am thankful both to the SURF program and to my mentors Dr. Christine Wildsoet and Mariana Garcia for their support for my summer project.
Profile image of Alina Boltunova
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, Public Health
Mentor: Christine Wildsoet, Vision Science and Optometry
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